Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak
Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls. - (Proverbs 25:28)
In this day of instant information, we can get our news so fast that we don’t have to wait for the evening news anymore. We don’t have to wait for the newspaper. We can go out on the Internet and get our news in real time. I think this makes it hard for us to slow down and listen, especially to God. Many of us are like Martha in Luke’s Gospel, running around in our little self-made circles of activity instead of calmly sitting at His feet and listening like Mary did.
But James 1:19 tells us, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” We ought to post that verse where we can see it every day. How different our lives would be if we heeded its admonition.
James tells us we should be swift to listen, but we also should be slow to speak. How many times have you blurted out something, only to regret it the moment it left your lips? Jesus said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).
We should be slow to anger. How easy it is to rationalize our outbursts of rage (especially when we are driving). But Proverbs 29:11 says, “Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back” (NLT). How much better our lives and our witness would be if we were swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath!
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